PETALING JAYA - The PKR election committee has confirmed that there was a power outage during the vote counting process for the Kuala Selangor division involving Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, but assured that this was nothing of concern.
Its committee chairman Datuk Johari Abdul said this in response to allegations by Khalid's camp, suggesting that the blackout had contributed to the Selangor Mentri Besar's loss as the division chief.
"Although there was a blackout, there was no attempt at vote tampering because the party workers were instructed to stop counting and leave the room until the power was restored," Johari told reporters here yesterday.
He added that the power outage that occured on midnight Thursday, believed to be caused by problems at Tropicana's substation, had affected the whole block of the building and not just the PKR office.
The power was restored two hours later after a complaint was lodged to Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), said Johari.
It was reported earlier that Khalid's supporters demanded a recount for the division, which saw Khalid defeated by his challenger S. Manikavasagam, a former Kapar MP.
Khalid's political secretary Azmin Abidin said it was puzzling because Khalid was leading when the electricity was cut off.
He claimed that after the power was restored two hours later, some 100 spoilt votes "miraculously" seemed to go to Manikavasagam.
Dismissing this, Johari said the blackout occured when the workers were counting the votes for central leadership positions, not division.
"For central leadership, Khalid garnered the most votes for the deputy president's post, but lost at the division level," he said.
However, the result was still unofficial.
He said those who were unhappy with his explanation could personally see him as he had the official report from TNB.
It was the second time a power outage had occurred during the vote counting, with the first being at the Batang Sadong division in Sarawak.